Europe Hangs On to Win Royal Trophy

By Sports NetworkJanuary 8, 2006, 5:00 pm
European TourBANGKOK, Thailand -- Led by two-time Ryder Cupper Paul McGinley, the European team won just three points in Sunday's singles matches, but it was enough to win the first-ever Royal Trophy, 9-7, at Amata Spring Country Club.
 
The European squad led 6-2 entering the final day with eight singles matches slated to determine the events first winner. Asia took the first singles match as Yasuharo Imano beat Englishman David Howell, 2-up.
 
Seve Ballesteros
Seve Ballesteros holds aloft the Royal Trophy after Europe defeated Asia.
McGinley held off Asian Tour standout Lian-Wei Zhang, 2 and 1. Graeme McDowell then extended the Europeans lead to 8-3 with a 3 and 2 win over Jyoti Randhawa.
 
The Asian team won the next two matches as Arjun Atwal downed 11-time Ryder Cupper Nick Faldo, 3 and 2. Eight-time European Ryder Cup member Ian Woosnam dropped his match with Thaworn Wiratchant, 2 and 1.
 
Needing to win on of the last three matches, Sweden's Henrik Stenson rolled over two-time European Tour winner Thongchai Jaidee, 5 & 4, to clinch the Royal Trophy for the Europeans.
 
S.K. Ho took down Kenneth Ferrie, 2 and 1, while Keiichiro Fukabori pounded Thomas Bjorn, 4 and 3, to create the final margin.
 
'I am really very happy with the final score today,' said European team captain Seve Ballesteros. 'It has been a great two days of competition and the European Team played fantastic. The Asian team also showed a tremendous game. On this occasion we had a little more luck, but at the end of the day golf is the real champion.'
 
Howell led the first match four of the first six holes, before Imano claimed the seventh and eighth to grab his first lead at 1-up. Howell came right back to win the next two holes to reclaim the lead, that would be his least.
 
Imano won the 11th and 14th, but Howell won 12 and 16 to keep the match all square. Imano closed the match in style with wins on the final two holes.
 
McGinley never led over the opening 13 holes of his match with Zhang. Zhang was 2-up through seven, but the Irishman eventually squared the match on 13. McGinley also won the 14th to grab his first lead and ended the match with a win on the 17th.
 
'I am obviously pleased I won my game, but the most important thing was the team won,' said McGinley. 'It was a tough game today and Zhang played great, but fortunately I played well enough to beat him.'
 
McDowell dominated Randhawa throughout. McDowell won each of the first two holes and eventually moved his lead to 3-up through 6. Randhawa wouldn't go down without a fight as he won the 11th to even the match. McDowell then won 13, 14 and 16 to claim the match.
 
Faldo won the first hole against Atwal, but that would be his only lead. Atwal won the second and third to go 1-up. He stretched his lead to 2-up twice, but Faldo cut it both times. Atwal won the 11th and 12th to take a 3-up lead before winning the match on the 16th.
 
Wiratchant led from the second to the ninth, but Woosnam claimed Nos. 10 and 11 to take his only lead of their match. Wiratchant won the next two holes to reclaim a 1-up lead and he closed the match with a win on the 17th.
 
Stenson, playing local favorite Jaidee in the last match, cruised to a big win. After leading much of the opening 10 holes, Stenson won the 11th, 12th and 13th holes to move 5-up. The match was over one hole later as they halved the 14th.
 
Fukabori and Bjorn were the penultimate match and Fukabori never trailed. Bjorn won the eighth to square the match, but it was all Fukabori from there. He won the ninth, 10th and 11th to move 3-up. Fukabori won the 14th and the match was over one hole later.
 
Ho and Ferrie had a good battle. Ho grabbed a 2-up lead when he won the No. 5. Ferrie won three straight from the sixth to turn the deficit into a 1-up lead. Ho took 11 to even the match, then moved back in front with wins on 15 and 16. They halved 17 to give Ho the match.
 
'We won the singles today, but the European team took the trophy,' said Asian captain Masahiro Kuramoto. 'Europe is a great team and so was the Asian team. I was happy to see the boys fight back after yesterday. For a moment, it looked possible that we could upset Europe and our players grew in confidence. We proved today that we could compete.'
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.